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Dr Angel Pulido and philo-Sephardism in Spain

Michael Alpert

<plain_text><page sequence="1">Jewish Historical Studies, volume 40, 2005 Dr Angel Pulido and philo-Sephardism in Spain" MICHAEL ALPERT For most Spaniards, Jews and Judaism remain a closed book, though one which is slowly opening. A generation has passed since the promulgation on 28 June 1967 of the Law of Religious Freedom which allowed places of worship other than Catholic churches to display outward indications of their identity. The State of Israel was recognized by the Socialist Government on 17 January 1987, and the king of Spain visited the Madrid synagogue on 28 March 1992, the five-hundredth anniversary of the expul sion of the Jews from Spain. There has been a steady increase in the number of Jews living in Spain, among immigrants from what was the Spanish Zone of Morocco, refugees from Latin-American dictatorial regimes and retired people from other countries. In the late nineteenth century, however, knowledge of Jews among the majority of Spaniards was non-existent and theoretical attitudes towards them were traditionally hostile. Conservative Spaniards identified all dissi dence with the heresy of secret Judaism which the Spanish Inquisition had persecuted since its foundation in 1478, so much so that over the centuries the epithet 'Jewish' had become merely a pejorative term, unassociated with real Jews. Nevertheless, over the centuries some had advocated allowing Jews to live in Spain. In the seventeenth century, Philip IV's Chief Minister, Gaspar de Guzman, Count-Duke of Olivares, attacked by his opponents because one of his great-grandparents had been a Jew, albeit one converted to Christianity, had appreciated the aid that Spain had received from finan ciers descended from converted Jews.1 While most of these were faithful Christians, others were suspected by the Inquisition of practising Judaism in secret. Nothing came of recommendations that some of the Spanish and Portuguese Jewish magnates living in Holland and elsewhere should be allowed to reside in Spain as Jews. The Inquisition feared that the presence of real Jews would be an incitement to descendants of converted Jews to * Paper presented to the Society on 18 November 2004. 1 J. H. Elliot, The Count-Duke of Olivares (New Haven 1986) 118. io5</page><page sequence="2">Michael Alpert practise Judaism in secret. As late as the early nineteenth century, despite attempts by enlightened Spanish statesmen to permit the admission of Jews for the benefit of commerce and industry, the fierce reaction to French occupation which led to the Peninsular War of 1808-13 brought disgrace and exile to many progressive thinkers. The success of the campaign and the mood of extreme reaction after the end of the Napoleonic Wars led in Spain to the re-establishment of the previously abolished Inquisition.2 In any case, suggestions that Jews might return to Spain had been pragmatic rather than principled. To admit a few Jewish merchants and financiers was thought to be economically beneficial. There was no ques tion of religious freedom in general. It was a change in this attitude which characterized the position of those liberals who later in the nineteenth century advocated Jewish immigration and called for links with the Spanish-speaking Jews of the Balkans and Asia Minor, descendants of the exiles of 1492. Regeneration This philo-Semitic and specifically philo-Sephardi nineteenth- and early twentieth-century movement sought to bring Spain into the modern world. Modernization, or regeneration, as it was known, was the fundamental issue. Some advocated regeneration by a general liberalism, characterized typically by religious freedom. The contrary view insisted that to admit Jews was to attack the very essence of Spanishness, which was Catholicism untouched by religious freedom or free thought, and thus in principle hostile to any movement which advocated change. For traditionalists, to regenerate Spain by introducing modern ideas, sometimes described by their enemies as 'Jewish', was to destroy the essential nature of Spain.3 This was at the root of the Carlist wars of the nineteenth century even if these were ostensibly dynastic in character. So, despite the appeal in 1854 by Rabbi Ludwig Philippson of Magdeburg, editor of the Allegemeine Zeitung des Judenthums, to a Spanish Parliament which was thought to be about to promulgate a progressive constitution, the result was merely the bland statement that nobody was to suffer for his reli gious opinions.4 Politicians dared go no further and awaken the half-asleep dogs of Spanish reaction. Rabbi Philippson himself obtained only lukewarm support for his appeal from the Bayonne Consistoire, even though its leaders 2 H. Avni, Spain, the Jews and Franco (Philadelphia 1982) 7. 3 Gonzalo Alvarez Chillida, El antisemitismo en Espaha: la imagen del judlo (1812-2002) (Madrid 2002) ch. IV passim. 4 C. C. Aronsfeld, The Ghosts of 1492: Jewish Aspects of the Struggle for Religious Freedom in Spam 1848-1976 (New York 1978) 5. io6</page><page sequence="3">Dr Angel Pulido and philo-Sephardism in Spain were Spanish and Portuguese Jews descended from fugitives from the Inquisition.5 By this time, none the less, some progress had been made. Money, as ever, talked. Church lands had been disentailed and sold off by Liberal administrations, and Rothschilds and other men of finance and develop ment, largely Ashkenazim from France and Central Europe but also the Sephardi Péreire brothers from Bordeaux, were arranging loans for the Spanish government against the security of Spanish mineral exports, build ing railways and sitting on the boards of newly founded banks and insur ance companies. Lionel de Rothschild spent 1835-6 in Spain, and his representatives in Madrid, Ignaz Bauer and Daniel Weisweiller, became well established there.6 However, no Jewish community as such was formed. If religious services were held, they were private though un impeded.7 Although most of these men - Jules Carvallo, director of the Royal Company for the Canalization of the River Ebro; Salomon Strauss, who conducted the orchestra at Queen Isabel II's wedding; Jules Worms, the painter, and many engineers - were known to be Jewish, Spanish soci ety was unconcerned. A number were granted royal honours for their serv ices. Senora de Bauer, the daughter-in-law of Rothschild's representative, ran an elegant salon? Spain had to take note of Spanish-speaking Jews when in 1859-60 its army occupied Tetuân, capital of the part of Morocco which later became a Spanish protectorate. It was widely reported that Jews had greeted the occupiers in Castilian, albeit strange-sounding because they spoke the language of 1492, being descendants of the exiles of that year.9 When Spanish forces abandoned Tetuân in i860, Jews, fearing indigenous reac tion, moved to the Spanish enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla on the coast of Morocco, and a few settled in Spain itself, in Seville, the oldest-established 5 Henri Léon, Histoire des Juifs de Bayonne (Paris 1893) 353. 6 Michael Alpert, 'Attitudes sefardies del siglo XIX y pensamiento sansimoniano reflejados en las carreras de Emile e Isaac Péreire, fundadores del Crédit Mobilier' Sefarad ano 61, fasc. 2 (2001) 265-86; N. Sânchez-Albornoz, 'De los origenes del capital financiero: el Crédito Mobiliario Espanol, 1856-1902' in Espana hace un siglo: una economia dual (Barcelona 1968). On the Rothschilds in Spain see B. Gille, Histoire de la maison Rothschild (Geneva 1965) and Servicio de Estudios del Banco de Espana, Ensayos sobre la economia espahola a mediados del siglo XIX (Madrid 1970) 35; J. M. Tallada, Historia de las finanzas espanolas (Madrid 1946) 232; G. Tortella Casares, Banca, industria y ferrocarriles en el siglo XIX: los origenes del capitalismo en Espana (Madrid 1975) 75. 7 J. Caro Baroja, Eos judlos en la Espana modernay contemporânea, 3 vols (Madrid 1978) III 207-8. 8 Ibid. 210-11. 9 Pedro Antonio de Alarcôn, Diario de un testigo de la Guerra de Africa (Madrid repr. 1974). There is a novelized version of the occupation of Tetuân in Benito Pérez Galdös, Atta Tettauen (Madrid repr. 1979). See J. B. Vilar, Tetuân en el resurgimiento judlo contempordneo (1850-1870) (Caracas 1985). 107</page><page sequence="4">Michael Alpert community on the Spanish mainland.10 In the Spanish census of 1877, 27^ men and 130 women said they were Jews. The largest number lived in the southern city of Câdiz and were probably Moroccan.11 The number of Jews was almost certainly greater than this. According to the Univers Israélite, m Madrid there were 120 families of German-Jewish origin and sixty of French background.12 The revolution of 1868 Until then, no objections had been made to a Jewish presence in Spain, provided that no official statement about Jewish rights was sought. But in 1868 a revolution took place. The Queen's abdication was followed by a chaotic period which lasted until the end of 1874 when the monarchy was restored in the person of her son, Alfonso XII. These years saw the spread of a certain philo-Jewish mood in liberal sections of Spanish society, within the context of a drive for complete religious freedom. On 12 April 1869, during discussion of a new constitution, the Republican group in the Spanish Parliament demanded the total separation of Church and State. This pushed Catholic opinion into a highly reac tionary stance, expressed, despite the almost complete absence of Jews, by an attack on Judaism in the usual terms. Against this, a Republican deputy, Emilio Castelar, a great orator in a country where rhetoric is still admired, rose to speak about religious tolerance. Castelar denied the blood libels, repeated in the debate by the clergyman Vicente Manterola, and claimed that Christianity itself required a change of stance towards the Jews. In discussing the expulsion of 1492 he insisted that Spain had been greatly impoverished by the loss of its Jews, and quoted the names of Spinoza and Disraeli; he was perhaps the first parliamentarian to mention that the descendants of the expelled Jews still spoke Spanish.13 This rhetorical duel expressed two broad ideological views, one looking back to medieval convivencia or living together tolerantly, and the other to the ideal of Catholic unity policed by the Inquisition. The former, liberal, stance implied a certain philo-Judaism, though it was often more relevant to freethinkers, Freemasons and Protestants, who were a reality in Spain, than to Jews. ' M. Méndez Bejarano, Histoire de lajuiverie de Seville (Madrid 1922) ch. XXII. J. A. Lisbona, Retorno a Sefarad: la politico de Espaha hacta sus judios en el siglo XX (Barcelona 1993) 19 : Quoted inj. J. Lichtenstein, 'The Reaction ofWest Europe Jewry to the reestablishment of a Jewish community in Spain in the 19th century' (DLitt thesis, Yeshiva University, New York 1962) 82. 1 G. Alvarez Chillida (see n. 3) 131-3. See account of the Manterola-Castelar exchange in the Jewish Chronicle (hereafter JC) 23 April 1869. io8</page><page sequence="5">Dr Angel Pulido and philo-Sephardism in Spain At the end of 1869 the Board of Deputies of British Jews wrote to the head of the Provisional Government of Spain to ask for the Edict of Expulsion of 1492 to be abrogated.'4 General Serrano replied that, as he had written previously, there was no restriction on Jews coming to Spain. The person to whom Serrano had written earlier was Haim Guedalla (1815-1914), a member of the London Sephardi community and a nephew by marriage of Sir Moses Montefiore, whom he had accompanied to Morocco in 1863, visiting Spain on his return.15 The new constitution of the restored monarchy of 1876 allowed only the private profession of religions other than Catholicism, so non-Catholics were still at the mercy of arbitrary interpretations of what was permitted. Daniel Weisweiller, when consulted by the British ambassador on the instructions of the Foreign Office, replied that it was better to let sleeping dogs lie and not make representations about the abrogation of the Edict of Expulsion of 1492, such as the Board of Deputies had requested. The Board then resolved that, 'having fully considered the several communica tions received on the subject... it is not desirable to take any steps at this time in the matter'. (The Board of Deputies of British Jews received a letter from the Spanish Ambassador minuted on 26 July 1881, stating that there was no legal obstacle to prevent Jews settling in Spain.)16 Could Jews live in Spain? The year 1881 saw a flurry of movement. In February, Haim Guedalla wrote to Sagasta, the Spanish Prime Minister, who replied that no special legislation was required to allow Jews to live in Spain because the law did not discriminate on the basis of religion. Indeed, wrote Sagasta, the fact that a handful of Moroccan Jews had been naturalized in 1871 proved that Jews might return to Spain: 'So all your fellow-Jews who want to may come to Spain without hindrance', he wrote (Ast, to dos sus correligionarios que lo deseen puedett venir a Espana sin ninguna clase de obstâculo).17 In June 1881 Guedalla again wrote asking for the Edict of Expulsion of 1492 to be rescinded. Sagasta's reply, submitted presumably by Haim Guedalla to The Times for publication, stated that the constitution, which allowed free private religious practice, was more important than the Edict, so there was no need to rescind the latter.18 What Sagasta did not say was that, whatever Minute Book of the Board of Deputies, London Metropolitan Archives ACC 3121 A10. David Littman, 'Mission to Morocco (1863-1864)' in S. and V. D. Lipman (eds) The Century of Moses Montefiore (Oxford 1985) 171-229. National Archives (Kew), Foreign Office Correspondence FO72/1411/1427/1432 of 16 April and 26 June 1875 and 18 April 1876; London Metropolitan Archives ACC 3121 A12. H. Avni (see n. 2) 11. The Times 8 July 1881. 109</page><page sequence="6">Michael Alpert might be tolerated in practice, public repudiation of the founding docu ment of Catholic exclusivity in Spain would destroy the new-found peace of a country where civil war between Liberalism and Reaction had only recently ended. In July 1881 the Spanish ambassador in London wrote to the Board of Deputies in the same terms. However, by now the chance to test Spain's real views had arrived. In the spring of 1881 Count Rascon, Spanish ambassador to the Sublime Porte, wrote to Madrid from Constantinople about Jews who had fled to the latter city from Russian pogroms.19 He asked whether they would be allowed to enter Spain. On 15 June 1881 he received a letter from Madrid: 'His Majesty the King instructs me to tell Your Excellency that both His Majesty and the Government will receive the Jews coming from Russia, opening to them the gates of what was their ancient fatherland'. This last phrase suggests that Alfonso XII and the Spanish foreign ministry were unaware that the Russian Jews were not Sephardim, but further letters from the ambassador imply that he did know the difference between these two major branches of Jewry. He suggested that valuable links could be established between Russian Ashkenazim and Sephardim in Turkey. In his words, which are worth quoting because they expressed a view which was widely repeated in Spain: 'His Majesty's offer of succour . . . can bring immense advantages to the Spanish nation. If the Jews [he uses the word hebreos rather than the pejorative judios], were to establish themselves on the coast. . . communicating with the 300,000 of Spanish origin who speak our language perfectly and who live in Turkey and on the coasts of the Black Sea, and if steamship lines were set up from Seville to Odessa as the French and British have done, considerable traffic would soon be developed between Spain and these countries . ..' Behind the ambassador's words lay the conviction that the Sephardim of the East were enterprising and that here was an opportunity, by bringing a few Russian Jews to Spain, to get one set of Jews to cooperate with another for the benefit of backward Spain. Still, one may say in its favour that the correspondence between Rascön and Madrid made official circles more aware of the language and culture of Sephardim. What is more, Ambassador Rascon suggested that Spain should show some interest in preserving this culture, in great danger because of the influence of the schools of the French-speaking Alliance Israélite Universelle. He proposed setting up an institute, financed by the Spanish government, to protect the Judeo-Spanish language. Nothing, however, came of this. 19 All the Rascon correspondence with Madrid on this subject is quoted in Manuel Fernandez Rodriguez, 'Espana y los judios en el reinado de Alfonso XII' Hispania XV (1965) 565-84 (translations are mine). 110</page><page sequence="7">Dr Angel Pulido and philo-Sephardism in Spain In July the Spanish government stated that Jews would be welcome, but that, contrary to what the ambassador had optimistically hoped, no finan cial aid was available to bring them to Spain. In the end, the ambassador arranged for fifty Jews to be transported free of charge. But historians have found no notice of their arrival and later vicissitudes.20 The list has been published: almost all were Ashkenazim.21 There was a further petition from fifty-eight families who claimed Spanish origin. They wanted not only free transport, but a grant of land and resources to work it, as if Spain were the United States or Argentina. No reply came. Whatever their claim, a glance at the names shows that few if any of the applicants were Sephardim and, despite the statement in their petition, none were farmers.22 Of course, Spain was not a country for immigrants. On the contrary, many Spaniards emigrated. It was a poor country with no opportunities, except perhaps for investors or for Moroccan Jews, who came from an even poorer background than the Russians. Nevertheless, the Spanish offer had the effect of evoking foreign approval and showing the Spain of the new constitutional monarchy in a good light. In Britain, rather than Jewish issues, it was the reduction in the power of the Church that was sought, as many Protestant missionary societies insisted. So congratulations on Spain's new open-minded and generous stance were sent to Madrid from the Common Council of the City of London.23 Few Jews came to Spain, nevertheless. At the end of 1886 a journalist, Isidoro Lopez Lapuya, founded the impressively named Centro Nacional de Inmigraciôn Israelita (National Centre for Jewish Immigration). He hoped that the support of important figures from politics, administration and cultural life would attract wealthy Jews with investment capital.24 Actually, thirteen indigent Russian Jews, followed by thirteen other equally poor Moroccan Jews, unexpectedly arrived on 16 April 1887. Rather embarrassed, Lapuya hid them from sight and somehow found money to repatriate them.25 These various initiatives to bring a handful of Jews to Spain came up, nevertheless, against fierce opposition. Spain was culturally influenced mostly by France, where Edouard Drumont's anti-Jewish book La France Juive had enjoyed immense success in 1886. It was translated and then imitated in Spain.26 Later, the Dreyfus Affair, at its height between 1894 20 Communication from Isidro Gonzalez Garcia, September 2004. 21 Isidro Gonzalez Garcia, El retorno de los judlos (Madrid 1991) 221-3. 22 Ibid. 231-4. 23 Ibid. 98. 24 The list of sponsors is to be found in H. Léon (see n. 5) 360-1; also H. Avni (see n. 2) 16 and ff. There are references in the JC 21 Jan. 1887 and 4 Feb. 1887. 23 I. Gonzalez Garcia (see n. 21) 119-20. 26 Notably by P. Casabo y Pagès, La Espana Jüdin (Barcelona 1891). III</page><page sequence="8">Michael Alpert and 1898, became a cause célèbre in Spain. Its issues were used as weapons in these fundamental polemics.27 Dr Pulido and the Sephardim Spain lost two fleets and the last of its empire in 1898 in a war with the United States. This disaster aroused debate about major Spanish problems. Attitudes to Jews were part of the opposing stances adopted on the solu tions for Spain's ills. It was less a question of whether Jews were to come to Spain than of taking a position on one side or the other of a deep ideological gulf. Spanish traditionalists blamed the disaster of 1898 on freemasonry and liberalism, but the catastrophe also stimulated a broad cultural move ment seeking the regeneration of the nation. One suggested solution was to rediscover and make better use of the Spanish-speaking Sephardim of North Africa, the Balkans and Turkey. This movement is closely linked with the name of Dr Angel Pulido, who had been the personal physician and disciple of Emilio Castelar, who had spoken movingly in the debates on religious liberty in 1869. Pulido, born in 1852, was a doctor concerned with political and social issues. He became a deputy in Parliament, later a senator and held high posts in public health administration.28 In an article Pulido recalled how on 31 August 1883 four passengers on a Danube steamboat, hearing him speak Spanish, introduced themselves.29 They talked about the Spanish-speaking Jews of the Balkans. But, as he wrote later, it was not rare for travellers to meet Spanish-speaking Jews; he himself and his wife had used Spanish earlier with Jewish shopkeepers in Belgrade. However, nobody was taking up the question of what to do about Spain's neglect of these Spanish-speak ers, descendants of the exiles of 1492. Twenty years later, on 24 August 1903, again on a steamship on the Danube, his attention was drawn to a man and wife, speaking what he describes as 'an incorrect Castilian'.30 Curious, Pulido sought a reason to speak to them. The man turned out to be Enrique (Haim) Bejarano, princi pal of the Jewish school in Bucharest. This meeting with the polyglot Bejarano, later Chief Rabbi of Turkey, had far-reaching consequences for Pulido, who devoted most of the rest of his life to advancing the cause of reconciliation between Spain and the Spanish-speaking Jewish populations 27 J. Jareno, El affaire Dreyfus en Espafia 18Q4 -1906 (Murcia 1981). 28 See the preliminary study by Maria Antonia Bel Bravo to Pulido's major work, Espaiioles sin patriay la raza sefardl (Granada repr. 1993); also Manuel L. Ortega, Figuras ibéricas: el doctor Pulido (Madrid 1922). 29 M. L. Ortega (see n. 28) 263-4. 30 A. Pulido (see n. 28) 2. 112</page><page sequence="9">Dr Angel Pulido and philo-Sephardism in Spain of the Near East. Bejarano told Pulido that in his school religious subjects were taught in Judeo-Spanish. Despite never having been to Spain, Bejarano was an enthusiast for Castilian. Pulido quotes a poem written by him to be recited at a prize-giving.31 It impressed Pulido as an example of the love that the Spanish Jews still professed for the country that had exiled their ancestors more than four centuries before. On 13 November 1903 Pulido rose to speak in the Senate on the subject of the Spanish-speaking Jews.32 He said that Spain should protect the use of Spanish, just as other countries, particularly France, were doing with their languages. There were half a million Spanish speakers bereft of Spanish books. This was true: the novels serialized in the Judeo-Spanish press of Constantinople and Izmir were not Spanish ones.33 He recom mended that Spanish consuls should be required to take a census of Spanish-speaking Jews and that Spain should establish schools, send out teachers and books, award prizes and begin research field-work. Despite the courtly replies he received in the Senate, nothing concrete was done. Pulido wrote six lengthy articles on the subject in the widely read magazine La Ilustraciôn Espanola y Americana, beginning on 8 February 1904. He sent copies of his book Los Israelit as espanoles y el idioma castellano and a questionnaire to Sephardi communities all over the world. His indus try was phenomenal. He maintained copious correspondence with Sephardim from Colombia to Beirut and from Vienna to Casablanca. With the answers he received to the questionnaire, he published in 1905 his Intereses espanoles: Espanoles sin patria y la raza sefardi, full of demographic information about the Sephardi world, from Turkey's 251,000 Spanish speakers, Greece's 12,500 and the Austro-Hungarian capital's 1000 Judeo Spanish families, to Romania and the other Balkan countries. The title, 'Interests of Spain', is significant. While reconciliation with the Jews was a good and indeed Christian act, as the devout Pulido underlined, it was also in the material interests of Spain. Pulido conducted a campaign to make Spanish public opinion at least aware of the Spanish-speaking Jews, and of the economic potential it was wasting by not maintaining active relations with them. Spain should know, he insisted, that Germany, Britain and France were spreading their cultural and thus economic influence widely over the Middle East. He recom mended generosity in granting Spanish nationality to Sephardim, but he 31 A. Pulido, Los Israelitas espanolesy el idioma castellana, 17. 32 Ibid. 193-210. See also Diario de las Sesiones del Senado no. 73, tomo 3, 1265 (13 Nov. 1903) and no. 51, tomo 2,753 (3 Dec. 1904). 33 S. Bennett, 'Neglected Heritage: The Secular Literature of the Jews of the Ottoman Empire from 1885 to 1922' (MPhil thesis, Queen Mary College, University of London 2004). "3</page><page sequence="10">Michael Alpert never campaigned for more than minor immigration. For him, the award of a Spanish passport was a way to honour distinguished Sephardim. Today, Pulido's well-intentioned campaign appears unreal, not only in Spain but among the Sephardim themselves. For them, Spanish was not the language of an advanced country in the way that German was for Ashkenazi Yiddish speakers. Education almost all over the Sephardi world was dominated by the gallicizing Alliance Israélite Universelle; the Sephardim themselves saw Judeo-Spanish as a tongue without prestige. In Spain the reaction was lukewarm, just as it had been in the 1880s. The excuse was lack of resources, though the costs of what Pulido was suggest ing were small. Lack of interest was more likely, as was the fear of a signifi cant sector of opinion which viewed Jews according to still-current hostile stereotypes, and thought that they had been rightly expelled in 1492. Pulido had dedicated his major published work to the University of Salamanca, which he represented as a senator. Several professors joined in an attack on him, which spoke of'capitalism without feelings and the perfidious tricks of industrialism and mercantilism of the worst type'.34 To counter this, Bejarano wrote to Pulido, who published his letter, making the point that the Sephardim had the stately air of the Spanish hidalgo. This description of lordly Sephardim was aimed at contradicting the view that all Jews were low-class hucksters, and thus alien to the very concept of Spanishness. Bejarano, however, was an enthusiast and an intellectual, and by no means typical. Pulido's naiveté lay perhaps in his idealistic view of Sephardim, few of whom shared Bejarano's interest in Spain. It is unlikely that Spanish-speaking schools, had they been established, would have attracted more pupils than those of the Alliance. Pulido fell victim not only to the myth of Sephardi superiority, but to that of Jewish economic power. It may be doubted whether commercial power in the Middle East was as much in Jewish hands as he claimed. Likewise, he underestimated the unease which his campaign aroused in Spain, where the traditional fear of Jews was still widespread, foreign anti-Semitic propaganda was widely believed and Pulido's campaigns, however unjustly, created a panic about Jewish immigration. Perhaps one should look at Dr Pulido through the ideas of race held at the time (my thanks to Isabelle Rohr, who is preparing a thesis on the subject of Spanish anti-Semitism, for drawing my attention to Pulido's ideas on race).35 He thought that by cutting herself off from Jews, Spain had lost the chance to maintain 'the race'. This is why he uses the expres sion 'the Sephardi race' in the title of his best-known book. He saw 34 J. Girön y Areas, La cuestwn judaica en la Esparia actual y en la universidad (Salamanca 1906) 36. 35 These are analysed by Joshua Seth Goode, 'The Racial Alloy: The Science, Politics and Culture of Race in Spain 1875-1923' (PhD thesis, University of California 1999). "4</page><page sequence="11">Dr Angel Pulido and philo-Sephardism in Spain Sephardim as Spaniards who should, to some small and token degree, be encouraged to return to Spain and intermarry with Spaniards as, he stated, they had done in earlier times, a naive view which shows how little, if anything, Pulido knew about Judaism. In reality, however, the intermar riage which had taken place in Spain in the early years of the mass conver sions after 1391 was between Christians and baptised Jews. Perhaps it would be better to see Pulido as a moral patriot. By repairing an ancient wrong - the 1492 expulsion - Spain would in his view become morally great. He, a devout Christian, saw the reconciliation of Spain and its Jews as a Christian enterprise, but in the context of a Christianity more universal than the narrowly nationalistic and exclusive version dominant in Spain. By recovering Sephardim for their own and Spain's mutual benefit, he would show that Spain was no longer bigoted. While Pulido's campaign came to nothing in the East, his stimulation of Spanish awareness of Spanish-speaking Jews had some effect in Morocco. Among Spanish military men there were currents of sympathy for Jews in the Spanish Zone of Morocco. Pressure groups in the first decade of the twentieth century urged the need to attract the loyalty of Moroccan Jews to Spain, especially since the schools of the Alliance were already active in the Zone. This sympathy led to the establishment in 1910 of the Alianza Hispano-Hebrea, to which many leading figures in politics, public life and culture lent their names. Spain's pacification of the Moroccan protectorate in the years 1912-27 was supported by Jews, which led to a certain surpris ing philo-Semitism in sectors of the Spanish Right. In 1926 the then Colonel Francisco Franco wrote an article in the Revista de Tropas Coloniales praising the loyalty of Jews to Spain, their great dignity and their virtues.36 Spain and the Jews during the First World War and after During the Great War Turkish Jews living in France and threatened with internment when Turkey joined Germany against the Allies were treated mildly by the French authorities after a plea dispatched by a large group of Spanish intellectuals.37 Instrumental in this activity was Abraham Shalom Yahuda, a noted Jewish orientalist who came from a family which had lived in the Spanish-speaking area of Jerusalem. Yahuda was invited in 1913 to deliver a set of lectures on the Jewish contribution to thought and culture and later to occupy the newly created Chair of Rabbinic Language and Literature at Madrid University.38 Yahuda found a rabbi for the Seville 36 G. Alvarez Chiliida (see n. 3) 396. 37 H. Avni (see n. 2) 24-5. 38 On Yahuda in Spain see Max Nordau.JC 9 April 1920. ii5</page><page sequence="12">Michael Alpert community, financed by Herbert Lousada, a London Sephardi. He also helped organize the Madrid Jewish community, swelled by people stranded by the war, including Max Nordau and Chaim Weizmann. At the time, this community held its services in the house of the Sephardi banker Salcedo, but Yahuda established the first post-expulsion synagogue in the capital, called Midrash Abarbanel, in a house belonging to the grandson of Ignaz Bauer, the Rothschild representative. This grandson, also Ignacio, was a publisher who brought out a variety of books of Jewish interest and became a city councillor in the Spanish capital. A friend of Alfonso XIII, he spent the Civil War of 1936-9 abroad, but returned and was active in the slow and difficult re-establishment of the Jewish community in the Franco period. He went to Israel in 1951 where he died in 1961. Max Nordau and Yahuda appealed successfully to Alfonso XIII to inter vene personally with the Kaiser to try to ameliorate the hardships suffered by the Jewish community of Turkish Palestine.39 In 1912 the city of Salonika, where there were 80,000 Spanish-speaking Jews out of a total population of 173,000, was transferred from Turkish to Greek hands. The Greek authorities were hostile to the Jewish community, which sought the protection of foreign consuls under the Capitulations system. The Greek authorities rescinded the rights of foreign consuls to extend their protection, but signed a bilateral agreement with Spain in 1916 allowing the Spanish consul some such rights. However, in the face of the Spanish consul's hesitations to use his powers, the Jews of Salonika sent Isaac Alsheh y Saporta to negotiate for them in Spain. While he was well received and enjoyed the protection of Pulido and his associates, little support was forthcoming from the Foreign Ministry.40 It appears, consequently, that when it came to practical help for Spanish speaking Jews in distant lands, the Spanish government dragged its feet, although in Spain and on a cultural level the highest authorities were help ful. Indeed, on 10 February 1920 Alfonso XIII received the leaders of the Asociaciones Hispano-Hebreas of the Moroccan cities of Tetuân, Tangiers, Larache, Arcila, Alcazarquivir and Ceuta, while Pulido himself obtained an interview with the king on 25 March 1920. Pulido spoke of the aggrandize ment of Spain through the agency of the Jews of Spanish Morocco.41 While the king was undoubtedly friendly, the Jewish leaders were dissatisfied, not with their welcome but because they could not obtain a visit from parlia mentarians to investigate their specific complaints about the Spanish authorities in Morocco, who, it must be said, had to tread gingerly because of Moslem opinion. 39 H. Avni (see n. 2) 25-6. 40 Ibid. 28-9. 41 A. Pulido Fernandez, La reconciliactôn hispano-hebrea (Madrid 1923) 21. ii6</page><page sequence="13">Dr Angel Pulido and philo-Sephardism in Spain Pulido himself visited Morocco in 1921. He witnessed a circumcision, attended religious services and was emotionally moved. He remarked how frequently he saw pictures of the king and queen on the walls of Jewish homes.42 By now he was ageing and ill. In 1923 he wrote: 'Twenty years persevering with these ideas show that they are ever more sensible and prac tical . . . and only lack of interest, ignorance, the instability of our govern ments, and the lack of statesmen in Spain, explain how this programme has not been completed and why we are today as we were at the beginning'.43 In fact, Pulido was only slightly over-pessimistic. In January 1922 Spanish diplomats in Turkey, Yugoslavia, Bulgaria, Greece and Egypt received instructions to carry out a census of Spanish-speaking Jews, with a view, never realized, to establishing closer cultural relations between them and Spain and to examine the matter of their nationality. The replies from the diplomats, however, displayed traditional hostility to the Spanish speaking Jews and advised against conceding them any wide-ranging privi leges such as permission to live in Spain. They should be used for the benefit of Spain, was the general view.44 Primo de Rivera and the decree of 1924 A marked pro-Jewish trend among Spanish officers in Morocco had been stimulated by the 1912-27 war against the warrior tribes of the Riff. The High Commissioner, General Francisco Gomez Jordana, wrote in 1915 that Moroccan Jews were 'honourable, hard-working and thrifty . . . bound to Spain through ancestry and tradition'.45 Another of the Spanish military men who admired the Jews he knew in Morocco was General Miguel Primo de Rivera, dictator of Spain from September 1923 until 1930. Under his rule a certain number of Sephardim living in the East were granted the possibility of acquiring Spanish nationality. This was not for any of the reasons which Pulido had advocated, but because many Spanish-speaking Jews had lost the protection they had previously enjoyed from foreign consuls under the recently abolished Capitulations system. Such Sephardim no longer felt secure in the atmos phere of rampant nationalism in Turkey and particularly in Greek Salonika. The Greek government assumed that Jews who had enjoyed this protection were nationals of the countries concerned.46 Some Jews thus 42 A. Pulido Fernandez, Mica: homenaje a la mujer hebrea (Madrid 1923) 171 and 175. 43 Ibid. 35. 44 A. Marquina and G. Ospina, Espanay los judlos en el siglo XX: la accion exterior (Madrid 1987) 44 45 Manuel L. Ortega, Los hebreos en Marruecos (Madrid 1919) 3. 46 A. Marquina and G. Ospina (see n. 44) 47. iï7</page><page sequence="14">Michael Alpert became stateless. The Spanish Decree of 20 December 1924 gave the chance of Spanish citizenship to Sephardim who had previously enjoyed Spanish consular protection, and in general for individuals of Spanish origin, provided that application was made before the end of 1931. Spanish nationality would be granted to antiguos protegidos espanoles 0 descendientes de éstos, y en general a individuos pertenecientes a familias de origen espanol.47 The citizenship which the decree offered was frankly for the perceived benefit of Spain, for in its own words the decree 'makes them [the Sephardim] useful instruments in the service of our cultural relations'. The applicant had to state, besides, that he or she had no intention of settling in Spain. Few accepted the offer, which may suggest that Pulido had seen them and their nostalgia for Spain through somewhat rose-tinted spec tacles. The petitioners, however, may have doubted that assembling the complicated documentation was worthwhile, especially as citizenship would not entitle them to settle in Spain. The 1914-18 war, during which many had sought consular protection from conscription, was over. Others feared that their foreign nationality would provoke hostility in countries where Spain could not effectively protect them. Consequently, few obtained the Spanish nationality which might have saved some of them in the Nazi period. Ernesto Giménez Caballero A particularly strange kind of nationalistic right-wing philo-Sephardism was associated with the name of an intellectual, Ernesto Giménez Caballero, in his journal, the Gaceta Literaria. This philo-Sephardism came from the imperialistic ideas circulating in Spain in the 1920s. His monu ment is a film he made of the Sephardi communities of the East.48 Its prop aganda line was the one previously advanced: since in Spain Jews had intermarried, they had acquired Spanish aristocratic bearing. While there is something in this, it is covered in layers of false argument and assumption. This current of thought picked up and distorted the concept of Sephardi superiority for its own purposes, and shared the current anti-Semitic discourse, only directing it against Ashkenazim. Since the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth-century philo-Sephardic movement lacked firm and consistent policies, and sometimes evoked the latent and often overtly anti-Jewish feelings of diplomatic personnel, little came of the movement. While in the First World War some Turkish Jews resident in France were saved from internment by being admitted to Spain, 47 Gaceta de Madrid 21 Dec. 1924. 48 The film is held at the Sephardi Museum, Toledo. 118</page><page sequence="15">Dr Angel Pulido and philo-Sephardism in Spain in the Second World War it was only the unofficial efforts of some Spanish consuls which saved a few Sephardim. Almost all the 60,000 or more Jews of Salonika were annihilated. As for Dr Angel Pulido, according to a biography written by his son, copies of his two best-known books on the Spanish-speaking Sephardim were placed under a foundation stone of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Pulido himself was invited to the ceremony, but illness prevented him from attending.49 Angel Pulido Martin, El Dr. Pulidoy su época (Madrid 1945) 54.</page></plain_text>